Mothers' Union

Mothers' Union

Aug 05, 2022

The church remembers quite a selection of people this week. Firstly, we have St Laurence, the patron of our church in Winslow, who proclaimed the poor as the treasures of the church. There is also Clare of Assisi, one of the first followers of St Francis, who set up the Order of Poor Ladies and was the first woman to write a rule of monastic life. We have Florence Nightingale and Octavia Hill, Victorian woman who changed the lives of many, Florence through nursing and Octavia through founding the National Trust, amongst many other things.

If that wasn’t enough, we also have Mary Sumner, the founder of the Mothers’ Union. When I was working as a gardener at Dorneywood, before I was ordained, I had a volunteer who was a direct descendant of her, and he had no idea who she was, which seemed such a shame considering her astonishing ministry.

Her main legacy is undoubtedly the Mothers’ Union, the largest Anglican Evangelism movement in the world, with around 4 million members in places as diverse as Tanzania, India, New Zealand and, of course, closer to home. It does wonderful work in the fields of literacy and development, combating human trafficking, poverty and gender equality, faithfully witnessing God’s mission in His (or Her) World.

In this week where we have seen the Lionesses become champions of Europe, we still have a long way to go for genuine, lasting, gender equality, and you can do a lot worse than support the legacy of Mary Sumner through the Mother’s Union if you would like to be a part of that, (don’t worry, men can join to).

Revd Mark

Readings for this Sunday

2 Cor 9:6-10

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,

‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;

   his righteousness endures for ever.’

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Matthew 6:19-24

‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

‘No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Readings for this week

Monday 8th – Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24 – end, Matthew 17: 22-end

Tuesday 9th (Mary Sumner) – Ezekiel 2:8 – 3:4, Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14

Wednesday 10th (St. Laurence) – Ezekiel 9: 1-7, 10, 18-22, Matthew 18: 15-20

Thursday 11th (Clare of Assisi) – Ezekiel 12: 1-12, Matthew 18: 21- 19: 1

Friday 12th – Ezekiel 16: 1-15, 60 – end, Matthew 19: 3-12

Saturday 13th (Florence Nightingale, Octavia Hill) – Ezekiel 18: 1-11, 13, 30, 32, Matthew 19: 13-15